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Scarred, but stronger...
Written By Bobby Schuller
"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the victor's crown, the life God has promised to those who love him." -James 1:12
To be a person who's happy in all things, we must first become people who can get through trials.
Inspirational author Janet Hagberg says that all believers go through the same spiritual growth stages. Many people, when they come into their faith, first experience total abandon to God. Then there's a stage of learning, of discipleship: "Tell me what I'm supposed to do. Tell me how to pray, how to kneel at church. Tell me which Bible verses I ought to read, and how I should act." Then the person becomes very productive and their lives start to succeed. You start to volunteer with joy and you share your story with people, and all these great things start to happen.
Then, if you continue to grow, you begin to look inwardly, going to some of the dark and wounded places of your heart. And, if you continue to walk into that abyss, the darkness, the woundedness, the loneliness, the failures of your own life, you will ultimately hit this thing we call "the wall." The wall is what the Psalmist is singing about when he asks, "Where are you, God?" The wall can be a flood of doubts, a sense of loneliness, a feeling of irrelevance, that nothing matters or has value. This stage always hits you when you least expect it.
How wonderful it is to be reborn into a new stage in our faith journey, to come out of suffering, sometimes scarred, but always a stronger. Having grown deeper and more resilient, we now become, ourselves, wounded healers.
Prayer: Dear Lord, you are my wounded healer. You are the one who goes before me as I experience my faith journey. Help me to be totally abandoned to you and successfully productive in my faith. Then, when I go through a season of woundedness and doubt, I have faith that you will be there in the darkness and in the light as I emerge stronger and better able to love others as you love me. Amen.
Reflection: Have you experienced these stages of faith? What stage are you experiencing today?
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"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the victor's crown, the life God has promised to those who love him."